How will we learn in the future?

April 14, 2021
9:00 am – 10:00 am Pacific / 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Eastern

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Amidst breakneck technological change, social upheaval, and environmental emergency, we need to rethink learning and education to prepare humanity to meet the challenges of a complex future. This transformation needs to go beyond the walls of the classroom. It should encompass virtual and informal learning environments, information literacy, critical thinking, trust, and community. Learning doesn’t stop at the end of high school, or college; it’s an ongoing process of reexamining and rethinking ourselves, our relationships, our communities, and our physical and social environments. It’s a process that involves constant adaptation to a world in flux.

This event is the culmination of the Future Tense Fiction Learning Futures series, supported by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, as part of its work on Learning Futures and Principled Innovation. The series explores how learning experiences of all kinds will be shaped by technology and other forces in the future—and the moral, ethical, and social challenges this will entail.

This event is hosted by New America for Future Tense a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.


Simon Brown

Simon Brown

Simon Brown is a writer of speculative fiction and has been writing for nearly fifty years. He has completed around 60 short stories made into two collections, and eight novels that have been published globally. Simon has also worked as a journalist and most recently as a senior communications officer for UnitingCare Australia. Brown currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about him at:

Leigh Alexander

Leigh Alexander

Leigh Alexander is an award-winning writer working at the intersection of technology, culture and narrative. Whether she is designing stories for video games, creating fiction about digital society, experimenting with narrative systems or creating worlds designed to be explored, she loves authoring the delightful and unexpected moments that can emerge from systems.

Leigh’s futurist fiction projects draw on the ten years she spent as a journalist online and in print, during which she drew fire as a progressive games critic and worked as a tech industry columnist and presenter. Leigh frequently speaks about narrative design, procedural storytelling, online culture and arts in technology.

Shiv Ramdas

Shiv Ramdas is a multi-award nominated author of speculative fiction short stories and novels. He lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. In 2020 he became one of only two Indian writers to ever be nominated for a Hugo, a Nebula and an Ignyte Award in the same year. His first novel, Domechild, was India’s first mainstream cyberpunk novel. His short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Podcastle and other publications. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. He was previously a radio host, and worked in journalism, advertising, and event management. In addition to his speculative fiction work he has also penned numerous advertisements, radio segments, audio plays and resignation letters.


Punya Mishra

Punya Mishra

Associate Dean of Scholarship and Innovation

Dr. Punya Mishra is Associate Dean of Scholarship and Innovation and professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He also has an affiliate appointment in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He is internationally recognized for his work in technology integration in teaching; the role of creativity and aesthetics in learning; and the application of design-based approaches to educational innovation. He has received over $7 million in grants; published over 100 articles and edited 3 books. He is an award-winning teacher, an engaging public speaker, as well as an accomplished visual artist and poet.